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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


St. Petersburg Times Online

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Take a U-turn before 'Crossroads'

By BILLY NORRIS
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2002

Movie: Crossroads

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Lucy (Britney Spears) is an innocent high school valedictorian who is debating what to do with her life. When she was 10, she made a pact with her two best friends to stay together forever. They put their wishes for the world in a box and then buried it with the intention of digging it up on the night of their high school graduation.

By the time that night finally rolls around eight years later, they have gone their separate ways but decide to dig up the box anyway. The moments spent reminiscing draw them together again, and they decide to take a road trip. Mimi (Taryn Manning) is pregnant and needs money to support her child. She wants to travel to L.A. to pursue a singing career, so Lucy and Kit (Zoe Saldana) sign on as her backup singers and off they go. Their driver, Ben (Anson Mount), is an acquaintance of Mimi's with a shaky past. The four travel across the country in search of their dreams but run into some roadblocks along the way.

My View: This is Britney's first big-screen lead role, and we can hope it will be her last. Seriously, she needs to stick to the Pepsi commercials. She spends a lot of time prancing around in her underwear and singing, then she gets drunk and loses her virginity, which doesn't sit right with me. It surely doesn't make her a good role model for anyone, but especially not for the preteen and teenage girls who probably will make up the bulk of this film's audience. Crossroads wouldn't have been that bad if she weren't in it, but she was. This movie is a bomb!

Favorite Part: Does not apply!

Least Favorite Part: Where to start? I can't explain my lack of affection for this film any better than I already have.

Recommendations: Honestly, I don't recommend this absolutely worthless ball of fluff to anybody. Save your money for something better!

Grade: You guessed it. F.

Billy Norris, 14, is in the eighth grade at Seminole Middle School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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